Last updated on January 28th, 2021. Posted in Web Design For Online Business.
If you're just getting your business website set up...or if you're already up and running and you're concerned about online privacy as far as your business email goes, if you're maybe looking to move away from Gmail, then you're in the right spot.
Here are links and resources mentioned in today's video. Enjoy!
If you're like most people, the thought of untangling yourself from Google and Gmail might sound impossible -- like a daunting, complex feat.
Yet at the same time, issues like privacy, security, and wanting to move away from Big Tech, relying less on Big Tech, could have you exploring alternative email options...either for your personal email or for your business online.
The good news is, there are quite a few private, secure email services available. These make great Gmail alternatives that I'll bet are even more powerful and secure than you think (especially if you value your privacy online.)
These alternatives are powerful, easy to use, don't cost very much at all (I think you'll be surprised!), and very, very secure.
So, what you and I will do here is, we'll take a look at three top secure and private email services for you to consider. We'll get an overview of each service, look at their features and options, and take a look at their plans and pricing.
And it's important to note that these three top options are great for personal (free) use, and also for small online business and even enterprise-level business, too.
Let's get started with a really great secure alternative to Gmail called Mailfence. Mailfence is a solid and very secure email provider based in Belgium and launched in 2013.
Now I should say here that Mailfence feels like it's more geared towards organizations, teams, and work groups, so it might not be a good fit for personal use or if you're running a solo online business.
In fact, out of all three mail services we'll be looking at, Mailfence is the only one that's web based -- so, no Android or iOS app on free plans -- and it's the only one that feels kinda dated and limited.
That said, it is packed with some great features that could be perfect for you...again centered around workgroups and small teams.
The email service itself offers secure end-to-end encryption, meaning that emails sent between Mailfence accounts or other encrypted email services is completely secure -- not even Mailfence itself can decrypt and access your emails!
Mailfence also offers a built in calendar, contacts, and document storage...which means if you're used to using Google G-Suite, then you'll be able to retain a lot of the service and functionality that you're used to.
Another feature Mailfence offers is what's called "custom domains." This means that for business use, you can set up website-branded email addresses like "firstname.lastname@example.org," "email@example.com" and so on.
Free Mailfence plans include 500mb of email storage and another 500mb of cloud storage.
Paid plans start at 2.50 euros per month (that's about $3usd -- super-low cost!), 5gb email storage, 12gb cloud storage, customer support, domain-branded email, and access via Android and iOS.
So if you think Mailfence might be a good fit, definitely take a look. I'll leave a link for you in the Show Notes below.
Next up is my top secure email choice at the moment, ProtonMail. Protonmail's based in Switzerland, which of course takes their privacy laws very seriously.
And if it's security and privacy you're after, it's tough to beat ProtonMail. In fact, you don't need to provide any personal information to set up your ProtonMail account -- everything's completely anonymous.
As far as accessibility goes, ProtonMail has an app for Android and iOS and also has a clean and easy to use browser-based interface. Now, let's do a rundown of some of ProtonMail's features.
First, just like MailFence, ProtonMail offers end-to-end email encryption between other encrypted email users. This means that all email contents are completely secure...but again, that's only between encrypted email services -- let me explain:
If you're sending messages to other ProtonMail or other secure email users, as I say your messages are encrypted. This means that no one other than the sender and receiver can read the contents -- third party apps, the ProtonMail service itself, and really anyone else cannot gain access to the contents of your emails.
However, if you were to send an email to a non-secure email user -- say, someone using Gmail or something else, when they open your email your message becomes decrypted.
Of course this means that the receiver's email service, third party apps, and others can read the contents of your email...so just keep all this in mind.
Another cool feature that ProtonMail offers (while I think of it) is self-destructing emails. So you can optionally set a time to auto-delete messages you send -- pretty cool!
Anyway, I hope all this makes sense -- and just keep it all in mind for yourself as you decide how you want to handle your email.
The advantage with encrypted email for me at least is the peace of mind knowing that Google or whoever else isn't reading my emails and displaying ads to me based on the contents of my emails -- Creepy!
Other features ProtonMail offers include custom domain-branded email accounts -- so again, you can set up branded email accounts for your business website.
ProtonMail also offers a calendar, but it's still in beta...in fact it's been in beta for as long as I can remember! I've been using the calendar a bit and it works pretty well. And recently they released a mobile app which works pretty well.
Finally, if online privacy is a concern of yours, ProtonMail also offers a free VPN with it's plans -- I thought the VPN came with all plans, but it may only come with paid plans now that I think about it. You might want to double-check that...
...Anyway, if you're not sure, a VPN or Virtual Private Network gives you security and anonymity online. If you'd like to know a little bit more about what VPNs are and how you can get started securing your data online, I'll link up to a post I did on exactly this down in the Show Notes.
In the meantime, if you'd like to take ProtonMail for a test drive, you can sign up for a free account which comes with 500mb of storage.
Proton's paid plans start at just $5 per month, and lowest tier includes 5gb of storage, custom domain, email filters, autoresponders, and a few other goodies.
So, as far as secure, private and encrypted email goes, I think it's gonna be pretty tough to beat ProtonMail...although the third email service we'll look at in a moment certainly gives Proton a run for their money.
However if ProtonMail sounds like it'd make a good fit for you, give them a try -- as always, I'll leave a link for you below in the Show Notes.
The last secure email provider we'll look at is Tutanota. Tutanota is based in Hanover, Germany, and is very similar to ProtonMail in terms of ease of use, encryption, security, and privacy. In fact, I'd say that ProtonMail and Tutanota are very, very close to one another.
Like ProtonMail, Tutanota has a web client as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android. Also like ProtonMail, signing up can be done completely anonymously...so no personal information is needed, like your name, address, or phone number.
As far as features go, again Tutanota offers total end-to-end encryption, just like Mailfence and ProtonMail, which works exactly the same way as you and I have already discussed.
Tutanota also offers a built-in secure, encrypted contacts manager, agenda, and calendar -- all available through their web client or on your mobile device.
What I really like about Tutanota's mobile app is that your email, contacts, and calendar are all built into a single app...versus, say, ProtonMail where your Email and Contacts are built into one app, and the Calendar's built into a separate app.
I've been testing out Tutanota for myself and I have to say...so far it's really, really great. My biggest hang-up so far is...I just find the interface to be rather dated looking...and some of the settings seem limited.
Now if you'd like to try out Tutanota for yourself, sign up for a free account! Free accounts come with 1gb of email storage (twice what you'd get with ProtonMail) and a free calendar and a contacts manager.
Paid plans start at -- get this! -- 1.20 euros or about $1.50 per month (yup!) and start you off with 1gb of storage, custom domain names, multiple calendars, inbox filters, and so on...and what's great is, you can add features and essentially customize your plan as you need -- they offer plenty of options and additions.
Once again, if you think Tutanota sounds like it might be a good fit, give them a try. Hit those Show Notes below for a link.
Now before we wrap things up, I should throw in some honourable mentions here for you. Microsoft Office 365 is a very good choice, espeically if you're working with a larger group of people, Zoho mail is another top solid choice, and finally there's an email service called CTemplar which is getting great reviews. Of course, there are many other options to choose from too.